Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rib-Eye alla Fiorentina with Orange Pickled Shallots

Working at a public high school is a job that I thoroughly enjoy. Seriously! I like talking to teenagers, and their parents. My job is challenging, with just the right amount of fun, and my day flies by really fast.

Each school year seems to go by faster and faster, and the hard work is rewarded with one month off (without pay).  During my summer break, we had an unexpected treat. Craig's college age niece came to visit us, from Missouri.   She's been enduring triple-digit temperatures--so when I apologized for the overcast and cloudy 60-ish degree weather, she responded that she was thrilled to have a chance to cool off.

At last the sun came out, and it was time to do some backyard grilling. Miss Becky has never had rib-eye steaks. Tsk, tsk.   I needed to expand her college menu, so I bought some rib-eyes, and asked Craig to fire up the Weber grill.   Then I remembered... I had bookmarked a recipe in the June 2011 Cuisine at Home issue. The front cover photo had my mouth watering, and I made a mental note to make it.  The time had come!

According to Cuisine at home, Bistecca alla Fiorentia is one of the most celebrated dishes in Tuscany.  In doing a little bit of internet research, I see that a Porterhouse cut of beef is most traditional.  I think that a Rib-Eyes is a great alternative choice, because it has a lot of marbling. As the interior fat melts, it keeps the steak flavorful and moist-- which is a great failsafe, in case you overcook a bit longer than you intended to.

I realized that I had all of the ingredients to make this recipe, so off I went to make this recipe! I've never been to Tuscany (and it's on my bucket list), so I decided that  Tuscany was coming to our own California backyard.

I always have shallots in my refrigerator, and the pickled shallots are made with fresh orange juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. NOTE: Zest the orange, first, because you'll use it for the steaks. Easy peasy.

 Bring the liquids to a boil, and remove from heat.

Add the shallots, sprinkle with salt, add some pepper, cover and let sit for at least 15 minutes (or make it the night before. Done.

Chop some fresh mint and basil, and add to extra-virgin olive oil and orange zest.(I almost didn't add the mint, because my husband claims he doesn't like it-- more on that, later.)

Add some fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper and add this to a shallow dish. Set aside.

Grill the steaks for about 5 minutes, each side.  The steaks I bought weren't 3-inches thick, so these took about 6 minutes to cook to medium.

 Set the steaks into the olive oil mixture, cover with foil and allow to rest for five minutes; flip the steaks over and serve with the pickled shallots.

Pour your choice of beverage to go with this steak. Serve the steak with the pickled shallots-- which Becky wasn't quite willing to try.  (Kids... even at 21, she's slowly branching out from loving grilled cheese sandwiches.)

VERDICT:  It think that Becky's critique of the steaks speaks volumes-- "these are the best steaks I've ever had in my life!"  (All 21 years...hahaha)

For me, that's the ultimate compliment.  Craig loved the steak, too.  I loved the look of surprise, on his face, when I told him he just ate mint. You see, Craig has always shunned the idea of mint in any kind of food. He says it's too overwhelming.  Ha!  The mint, orange and basil is lovely combination and has a perfect summertime balance of flavors.  Yes, I'd make this again, and I hope you try it.

My summer break ended two weeks ago, and I'm one very busy little worker bee.  Things are starting to settle down, so I can share recipes more often with you.  Yes!

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post. 

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Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You can't get a better compliment than "the best I've ever had in my whole life." I'm craving your steak too.

Velva said...

I would give a lot for 60-is temps...Not too mention this fabulous summer meal and wine.



Joan Nova said...

It's really special eating beefsteak florentine in Tuscany but yours looks great -- and I love the orange pickled shallots. It's a perfect accompaniment to the fatty meat.

pipedi said...

You had me at rib-eye, then you lost me at mint, and then you got me again with your husband's comment that he loved it and was surprised that it had mint because he always found it overwhelming. My thought exactly (except for mint chip ice cream). So now I guess I'll be trying it!

Joanne said...

Whoa, you really wined and dined your niece! This looks like a four star kinda meal :)

Joolzmac said...

Thank you, this recipe sounds wonderful - one my husband will love cooking next time we want a good tasting steak.

Cheers - Joolz

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Rib-eye is my favorite cut because of all the marbling. That's where the flavor it. I can't wait to try this recipe, Debby, and can almost taste all those wonderful flavors. Letting the cooked steaks rest in the olive oil for a few minutes after cooking is a delicious idea. How nice that Craig's niece came to visit. I'm sure she loved your cooking.

Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

I am off to buy shallots and an orange ! This will be dinner tonight. Looks like another winner!

Noelle Marie said...

None in ribeye. One of our favorite cuts. And with that sweet chimichurri like drizzle. Oh I'm going to have to try this!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Rib eye is definitely one of my favorite steak cuts. I love this.

I never had Tuscan steak while I was there. My hosts were politely trying to cook for my non-red-meat-eaing husband plus one of the cooks was vegetarian anyway. I probably missed something great.

Christine said...

Hey, send some of that cool weather down to LA. It's been in the 100's for weeks now. Yuck. Love rib eye, always a flavorful cut. Particularly like the orange pickled shallots with it!

A Couple in the Kitchen said...

That looks like our kind of dinner. Love. It.!!!

Brenda Z. said...

Wow Debby, this looks amazing....rib-eye is the ultimate steak in my opinion. Can't wait to try this!

TKW said...

This looks amazing. We (may) be going to Italy next year, funds permitting, and I cannot wait to eat this!

Julia from Dozen Flours said...

I'm pretty sure I could hear that steak sizzling as well as smell it! I'm always looking for marinades that are super flavorful and have fresh herbs. This one's a keeper!

Salsa Verde said...

Absolutely stunning and mouth watering piece of meat!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

That looks to die for Deb!!I don't do it often but I'm craving red meat right now!

hobby baker said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, now I've gotten to enjoy your gorgeous photography and delicious looking recipes! Your blog is aptly named and I'll be following it happily.

Reggie said...

Now this sounds absolutely delicious!!!

Bill said...

Cuisine at Home is one of my favorite cooking magazines. I LOVE steak and this recipe sounds delicious! Gotta try this one. Thanks for reminding me to drag out my old copies of Cuisine! Great post!